#9: How To Sell Yourself The Right Way [WOYG Podcast]

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Sales… Hate it? Feel you’re not good at it? Don’t EVER want to be involved in it? Dre has news for you: you’re IN it. Right now. Even if you don’t want to be. All of life is sales, and Dre Baldwin shares how you can sell the best product you’ll ever have that you are already an expert at when it comes to product knowledge — Yourself!!

[TRANSCRIPT] How To Sell Yourself The Right Way

“Selling yourself” is your ability to get the things that you want, the things that you need, and the things that you’re after in life. You have to get your ideas out and put some action behind them.

Action” means getting another person to support your ideas. They could pay for a project that you’re putting together or for a service that you’re offering. This also means getting people to pay attention to content that you’re putting out and to agree with your point of view.

Selling yourself could be as simple as getting yourself a job. If a manager initially has doubts about hiring you and you are able to change their opinion and get them to give you the job, you sold yourself. If you see a girl that you like, and she’s not aware that you exist, but you start a conversation with her and she becomes your girlfriend 3 months later, you sold yourself to her.

If you start blogging and the only people who look at your blog is your mom and your sister, but then three weeks later, you have 5 views because 3 other people stumbled across it; and then they read it, shared it, and told someone else about it to the point where 3 years later, you have 500 views on your post — You sold yourself.

I want you to understand that selling yourself is:

  • Not a complicated thing.
  • Imperative in life.

I guarantee you that anybody who is successful is really good at selling themselves.

Kim Kardashian is good at selling herself. She sold a lot of ideas to people who are now following her on Instagram and Twitter, downloading her app, or watching her reality show. A lot of people are sold on the idea of Kim Kardashian. Who sold them? She did.

If you have a favorite musical artist and you bought their album, downloaded it, streamed it, or if you went to their show, bought their t-shirt, or if you’ve repeated something they said in one of their songs on their Snapchat or Instagram — They sold you on their ideas.

Everybody sells.

Reach out to the most successful person that you know who you can contact and ask them,

“How important is it to be able to sell yourself?”

They will tell you how important it is to sell yourself.

I can guarantee that the most successful person you know is probably better at selling themselves, than the third most successful person; And the third most successful person is even better at selling themselves than the fourth most successful person.

Your ability to sell yourself is directly proportional to the level of success that you’re going to achieve in life.
There are some people who are saying, “Well, it’s not all about me. I want to help other people. I want other people to succeed too.” In order for you to help another person succeed, you need to have the energy, time, attention, power, influence, and money. The only way you’re going to get those things is by selling yourself.

If you need to get more time, you have to sell somebody on the idea of working for you;

If you need to get more money, you have to sell somebody on the idea of buying your program;

If you want to have more energy, you have to sell somebody on the idea of doing work for you that you don’t want to do for yourself in exchange for some resource that you’re going to give them.

Everything that you do in life is a sale.

Every single one of us is a salesperson.

You are either a good salesperson or a bad salesperson.

You may be a person who says,

“I’m not into sales.”

“I hate sales.”

“I don’t want to do anything that has to do with sales.”

“I’ve never been good at sales.”

“I’m not interested in any kind of job or business with selling that’s involved.”

You have to understand that you’re already in the selling business. You just suck at it and you’re not going to get paid for it. This means that nobody’s going to pay attention to what you’re doing, and nobody will want to pay money for what you’re offering. That’s what you’re projecting if you think you’re a bad salesperson or you hate sales.

***

How did I start to learn about this topic of selling yourself?

How have I used it in my life?

I’m going to give you some actionable tips for you to start using to sell yourself.

At 18 years old, I was working at McDonald’s in Plymouth Meeting Mall outside Philadelphia during my senior year in high school. This job continued over into the summer until It became my freshman year in college when I was going to Penn State Abington. As I’m working at McDonald’s, I got tired of working there. The job was boring and there was no leverage in the job.

The problem when working at McDonald’s was that no matter how many hours I put in, no matter how hard I work, no matter how good or bad I was at work, I was stuck making that amount. There was nothing I could do to make that job more enjoyable. The beauty and the terribleness of the McDonald’s system is that, there’s nothing extra and nothing less that you can do. That’s the beauty of McDonald’s as an owner, but it’s a terrible thing for an employee like me. Even though at the time I had no collateral, I had no career capital and I hadn’t done anything that made me valuable to anybody else, which is why I was making $5.45 an hour.

When I became a freshman in college, I needed a change in scenery and since I was in Plymouth Meeting Mall, I walked around during my lunch breaks, and I would see the other stores in the mall and I would say to myself,

“Which one of these stores do I want to work in?”

I had good people skills. I’ve always been a bold individual and I’ve always been really good with my words. So, I started going into stores and I started talking to people and asking them,

“Hey, what would it take for me to get a job?”

“Are you hiring?”

“How much do you pay?”

The Law of Inertia states that “It’s easier to keep an object in momentum that’s already moving, than start an object that is not moving at all into momentum.” so the fact that I was going around, looking for a job with my McDonald’s uniform on, was good for me since it showed that I was already employed. This made me seem more desirable to an employer. By wearing my uniform, people are able to make an inference that since I already had a job, so I already knew how to show up for work, do the job, and be reliable.

I walked into a store called Hat World and I met a woman named Cindy who was working there. She was around the same age as my mother and she was like a motherly figure to me; That is what I felt when I first started talking to her. I started up a conversation and then asked her about getting a job there; She was impressed by the fact that I walked in and asked for a job.

Initially, she told me that she wasn’t hiring at the moment but that she would keep me in mind when she was. The most important thing that I did after having that initial conversation with Cindy was following up. I would go to the hat store almost every 3-4 days to follow-up about the job. I was persistent about it because I liked hats and because it looked like a very easy job. I would actually buy hats from the hat store when I was in there and talking to her. But also, I would just go in there and have conversations asking who else was working there, what I had to do to work there, and what skills I needed to have the job. I would sit there and talk to her and I would tell her,

“Listen, you already know that I’m working at McDonald’s. I don’t like to work in McDonald’s. I like to stay here and sell hats.”

I finally got the job at the hat store; Cindy finally hired me. Cathy, my manager at McDonald’s was actually mad at me when I quit. McDonald’s had a scheduling book that makes the schedule for the next week. If you need a certain day off, make sure you write it in, so they can adjust the schedules accordingly. Since Cathy wasn’t there on the day that I decided I was going to quit, I had to write a note in the schedule book that said,

“Hey, Cathy, don’t put me in the schedule for next week because I’m quitting.”

I don’t know why, but she took that personally. When I went in to get my final paycheck and turn in my uniform, Cathy did not say a single word to me, even though it was her who handed me my check and took my shirts. She wouldn’t even make eye contact with me, and she wouldn’t even speak to me. During that time, I was thinking,

“Why? Do you own the store?

 Why are you so upset that I’m leaving a job that was paying me $5.45 an hour?”

Until this day, I don’t know why she was upset about that.

I started working at a hat store and that was where I started to learn how to sell myself. There were only three people who worked there; counting me, Cindy, the manager, and this guy named Jay. Jay was a little bit older than me and he was the assistant manager. This meant that either Cindy or Jay was always working at one time or another. On some days, I’d be working with Jay while on other days, I would work with Cindy.

I’ve always been a very inquisitive individual. I asked a lot of questions. I basically would try to pick Cindy’s brain. For me, she was a picture of success when it came to working because all I had done was work in retail. My first job was at Pizza Hut and, then, I moved on to Friendlies, to Rita’s Water Ice, to McDonald’s, and then at the hat store.

Once I started talking to Cindy, I found out she had been a manager at several retail locations, and she was a career retail manager. I knew retail managers made a lot more money than what I was making. So, for me, she was like a star. I would ask Cindy questions like,

“Hey, where did you work at before?”

Then, she would tell me where and I’d say,

“How’d you get that job?”

Every time she told me about how she got a job, she would say,

“I went into the interview, I sold myself, and I got the job.”

She would always say that, and she wasn’t saying it like she was trying to teach me. She was the first person that I ever heard say or use the phrase “I sold myself”.

I would ask her, “What do you mean by selling yourself?”

She said,

“I just take my credibility to things that I’ve already done in my career. I would show a proof of past performance. Then, I tell them what I can do to actually help their business, and then I let them make a decision. I presented them the facts of who I was and what I was bringing to the table; I persuaded them to agree with the facts, and then I was able to get them to do what I wanted them to do, which was giving me a job where, in exchange for my time, energy and my expertise, they’re going to pay me. That’s how I was able to get those jobs.”

When you meet someone that you’re interested in and you want to get their interest as well, you have to sell yourself.

When you want to get a job, you have to sell yourself.

When you start a business, you have to sell yourself to your customers and you’ve had to sell yourself to your employees. An employee might have to decide if they want to work for you or if they want to work for somebody else.

In life, you will always be selling people on your ideas, products, projects that you’re doing, and your services. If you don’t think you’re good at selling, then you better start getting good at selling, and start thinking that you’re good at it. Because if you’re not, you will never get what you want in life.

“You cannot give what you do not have.”

  • Mother Teresa

If you don’t have anything and you can’t sell yourself, then you can’t sell to anybody else.

If you can’t sell your product, you can’t sell someone else’s product.

If you can’t make yourself known, you can’t make another person known. The people who are helping others gain popularity have made a name for themselves doing just that.

***

Here are 3 specific things that you can do to be better at selling yourself in life.

  1. Be and Do something worthy of attention and exposure.

There are some basketball players who come to me and say,

“Dre, how do I get more exposure in playing basketball because I want to get a scholarship, play overseas or go to Division I college basketball team.”

This what I tell them,

“Listen, you’re already getting exposure. You are already being exposed every single time you get on the court and pick up a ball. You think that you need more exposure but the problem is that the people who are seeing you are just not interested. That’s the reason why you’re not getting the attention that you want. You’re getting the exposure, you’re just not getting the right type of attention.”

When you go outside and walk across the street, you are already exposed to a lot of people. You might not even know that you were exposed to them, but they notice you. They didn’t do anything or say anything; nobody ran to you and handed you $1 million contract.

If you want to get better at selling yourself, you must Be and Do Something Worthy of Other People’s Attention and Exposure. You must be remarkable.

Remark-able, that means able to be remarked about.

  1. Double your price.

If you offer your coaching services at $25 an hour, double your price to $50 an hour.

If you are going for a job and you think you might ask for $30,000 a year, double your price to $60,000 a year.

If you’re going to work for somebody and they offer you a free pair of sneakers, tell them you want two free pairs of sneakers.

The worst mistake you can make in life when it comes to selling yourself is to offer somebody a price that is too low. When they hear it, they would say,

“Wow, I thought your worth is more than that; I thought you might ask for more money than that; I thought you valued yourself higher than that number that you just gave me.” Y

ou won’t be respected if you make the mistake of offering a price that’s too low. The person you offered that price will look at you and say,

“Okay, this person is not really that valuable. They must not really be as good as I thought they were. They would have at least ask for x, but they asked for 50% of x. They must not even be that good. Or even if they are, they don’t believe in themselves enough so they probably won’t perform at the level that I think they’re good enough at. I might have to think about this.”

When somebody says “Let me think about it”

That usually it means “No”.

The other problem with a price that’s too low is that once you set a low price, it’s very difficult to raise that and ask for more. You may raise it marginally, but you can’t double a low price once you have already made the offer. You might be able to double it after you’ve already sold it at that low price, but you just undersold yourself the first time. So, you have to make sure that you double your price.

What happens when you double your price?

  • You earn people’s respect.

When you give somebody a price that they are not sure they’re even able to pay because it’s too high, they may have to budget to make that price, save up for a couple of weeks, and they might have to come back to you when a new round of funding comes in order to get what you’re offering — You garner people’s respect.

People respect what they pay for. Nobody respects what they don’t pay for. You are all familiar with the phrase, “You get what you pay for”, right? Anything you get for free is as much worth as what it was given for.

There are different variations of what you’re paying for something, because it’s not always money. Sometimes you have to pay attention to things. Attention is similar to time. Time is actually infinitely more valuable than money

  • It’s going to cause some people to say,

“Wow, I just can’t afford that.”

“Wow, let me save up for that.”

“Wow, let me go see what I can do.”

Other people are going to say,

“Okay, I see that your price is that high, but I really want this product/service. I really want to work with you. We’re going to figure out how we can make this work.”

If your price is twice of what a shrewd business person expected to be, at the very least, he’s going to open themselves to negotiating with you. You never want to make the mistake of being too low; make the mistake of being too high.

They may say,

“We can’t even deal with you because you’re so far out of our range. We can’t even have that conversation.”

But if somebody says something like that, you can do them a favor and say,

“My price of $100,000 is too high for you because your budget is only $45,000. This is what we can work out, Sir. You can give me the $45,000 and you’re going to give me A, B, C, D, E and F. We can make that work.”

You can start making concessions and within the context of you making that offer, you’re doing them a favor because you just came down from $100,000 to $45,000. You just gave them a discount.

When it comes to doubling your price, make sure that you actually believe in that price. If you don’t believe it, they’re not going to believe it as well. They’re not going to take you seriously. It’ll be just as bad as if you offer a price that was too low.

  1. You must be willing and able to justify that price.

How do you do this?

Instead of going into the interview and say, “I want $50,000 a year”, tell them that you want $100,000. They’re going to ask you why you think you’re worth that much money.

If you’re an entrepreneur, and you tell a potential customer that your services are $100,000 and they were expecting to pay $50,000. The potential client will ask,

“What am I going to get for that 100,000?”

You have to answer that question because you mean it. You have to believe in your price. You must be willing and able to justify anything that you are asking for in business, and in life as a person. You have to have some collateral. That’s what my old boss, Cindy, used to say when I worked at Hat World.

What is collateral and credibility? This refers to something of value that you can offer to another person.

Cindy would show that she had something to offer by saying,

“I worked at a department store called Macy’s, and I brought their sales up to 25%. All of my employees always showed up on time for work. I never missed a single day in all my time there. You can call my old boss there, and they’ll tell you the exact same thing. The only reason I left is because they wouldn’t pay me more money. I came here for more opportunity, so I can do the exact same thing for your business.”

So, you have to go in there and you have to present yourself.

You have to actually believe what you are selling.
There’s a difference between someone buying from you and you making a sale. For example, when I worked in hat world, I didn’t make any sales. When I was there working, I got on the register, put in my employee number and rung up a lot of transactions, but I didn’t make any sales. Because back then, I didn’t really know how to sell. Actually, being able to sell wasn’t even part of the job description. The job description was to make sure that customers got the right size hat, you charge the right price, get the payment for the purchase, give them a bag, say “Thanks for shopping with us”, and let them leave.

In order to sell anything in life, you have to be able and willing to justify your price. There will be people who will just accept the number and say, “Let me figure out how I can make it work.” or, they might not be interested because your price is just too high, and you have to let them go and find another buyer. There’ll also be people who will challenge you to explain that price and ask you “Why is that your price?” You have to answer that question.

How do you answer that question?

It all goes back to the Be-Do-Have Principle. 

The Be-Do-Have Principle is very simple. A lot of people in life start with, What do I have to do?

When I say you have to be willing and able to justify that price, people usually say,

“What do I do?”

 “How do I do that?”

Those are all wrong. If you start with asking, “What do I say? How do I do it?”

Nobody’s going to believe you and you still won’t make the sale.

The first step is the Be.

You have to walk in there as a person who is worth $100,000. You have to walk down the hallway of your apartment building, drive your car, reverberate in your head, and tell yourself every morning when you wake up and every night, that you’re worth $100,000.

“I am worth 100,000”

The first two letters of believe is BE.

If you are not BElieving in the number that you’re going to offer or in your price, you won’t be able to sell yourself. If you don’t believe in the price either:

  1. You’re going to get it, and then you’re going to under deliver and people are going to be really pissed off at you; or
  2. You’re going to not get it at all because you’re not good at selling yourself because you don’t believe it.

Any strong salesperson believes in their product or service so much that they feel that they are doing the customer a disservice by allowing them to walk away from a conversation without buying the product.

When most people are offering a product to another person or persuade that potential customer into buying that product, they don’t go as far as they can because at some point they feel uncomfortable, pushing the customer too much and trying too hard to get this customer to buy something. Their mindset is that,

“If the customer is buying something then that is really going to benefit me. It’s not really going to benefit them so much.”

That’s the mindset of a lot of salespeople who aren’t as successful as they could be. The successful salesperson believes in their product or service so much that when they are selling a mouse, laptop or an external hard drive, they are going to push the customer. The customers feel like they are pressuring them a little bit because the salesperson believes in what he is offering and knows that if the customer doesn’t get it, the customer is going to be in a worse off position than if they did get it.

That salesperson thinks to himself,

“I’m not doing my job as a salesperson if you walk in here and don’t make a purchase, it is my job to connect you to the products that you want.”

There are some salespeople who don’t want to be too pushy because they feel like people won’t like them; They feel like people might complain; They feel like they’re creating bad energy and pressuring people into doing things that they don’t want to do; I was on the phone with a guy who was interested in some services that I was offering. At the end of the conversation, he said,

“Dre, I feel like you’re being a little bit pushy. I feel like you’re pressuring me a little bit.”

I said,

“You’re right. I’m pressuring you because if I let you get off this phone while doing nothing, you’ll continue to be unsuccessful in the industry that you’re in, just like you had been unsuccessful for the entire year before you called me. You reached out to me because you know you need help. We both know I’m the person who can help you. So, you’re right, I am going to pressure you to make a decision because we leave it to you and your own devices to make a decision. Your past performance is the best indicator of your future performance, which is not a good performance. This is why you need a help in the first place.”

In life, you must be willing to push people over the edge. If over the edge for a person means they buy, and both of you are happy, great. But in life, if you let people continue toe the line, they didn’t know they’d been thinking about it and haven’t been sure before they came to you. It’s your job as a salesperson to get them to make a buying decision.

That buying decision might be,

“I absolutely don’t want this product anymore.”

Every person who walks in “your store” is not going to purchase what you’re selling, but they should make a decision. You don’t want somebody to walk away saying, “I don’t know.” Your job is to inform them. If they don’t know, that means you haven’t given them enough information and you’re not doing your job. Every prospect should make a purchasing decision after talking to a real salesperson.

So, let’s recap the three points when it comes to selling yourself in life.

  1. You must Be and Do something worthy of attention and exposure.
  1. Double your price. It garners respect. People respect what they pay for, and they don’t pay any attention to the things that they get for free.
  1. Once you double your price, you must be willing and able to justify that price. It’s not a matter of doing, which a lot of people try to start with and fail. It’s a matter of being, you have to be the person worthy of that prices. If someone asks you, “What’s your price is?”, and you can’t answer, you won’t make any sales. So, you must be willing to not only double but also to justify with your prices.

2 Comments

  1. Even though I started my working life in TV/Video sales, sales has never been my strong point. It was only about 2 years ago that I realised that something was missing and it was while listening to Grant Cardone’s 10X Rule followed by Sell or Be Sold that I worked out what it was. That we’re all in sales. I have since started improving in this area as everything depends on it.

    Always full of value Dre.

    • Good you’ve gotten your mind around the principle. Thanks!

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